September 23, 2021

Independent Study

Are You A Barnabas?

You are a self starter. After all, you clicked on a link titled Independent Study. You also have a heart to come alongside others to help them discover and live into who God made them to be. Maybe you have even had some success in doing so and want to learn how to repeat it. You are a Barnabas. 

A Barnabas is somebody who comes alongside to help another person accomplish what God has called them to do. Barnabas creates a ripple effect, empowering others and spreading outward into the broader community. Just as Barnabas empowered Paul, and Paul empowered Timothy, you can have an impact that multiplies far beyond yourself. Coaching is a proven way to amplify your ability to help someone move forward in their calling and meet their goals.

What is the goal of coaching?

Coaches come alongside to help—like Barnabas. By encouraging and challenging others, Barnabas empowered them for ministry. He may not have been in the starring role, but without him many others would not have been able to accomplish the great things for God that they did.

The goal of coaching is to help someone succeed. What is success? It’s finding out what God wants you to do and doing it. Given that definition, success will necessarily look different on different people. Each person needs to discover for themselves what it is that God wants them to do. Coaches aid that process, but they don’t direct it. Coaching is not about telling others what to do; it’s about helping them discover it for themselves.

Coaching is the process of coming alongside a person or team to help them discover God’s agenda for their life and ministry, and then cooperating with the Holy Spirit to see that agenda become a reality.

What is the process of coaching?

Every journey requires a good map. Coaching is no different. Coaches need an easy framework that helps them understand what needs to be accomplished in the coaching process. Many coaching models are not comprehensive; those that are comprehensive are not simple.

The coaching process consists of five basic phases. Coaching relationships need to move through each phase and accomplish the necessary outcomes in order to be optimally effective.


Coaching Process


Relate - Establish coaching relationship and agenda

Coaching at its core is about qualities like trust, connection, support, and understanding.

Sometimes coaches are tempted to skip over the relate stage in hopes of getting to the heart of things faster and accomplishing more. Don’t—that strategy will backfire.  Coaching that leaves out the relational element may move through agenda items faster, but will ultimately be ineffective.Ninety percent of the time the people who have the deepest impact on our lives are those we know on a personal level, those who have taken the time to invest in developing a relationship with us. Forming a trusting, growing relationship will exponentially increase the significance and effectiveness of your coaching.

Powerful Coaching Questions

  • How are you doing?
  • Where are you now?
  • How can I be praying for you?
  • What do you want to address?
  • How can we work together?

Reflect - Discover and explore key issues

The reflection process helps us figure out where we are. When people get lost in a shopping mall, most will go to a directory and look for the “you are here” sign. You cannot take any steps toward a goal unless you first know where you are starting from. Some point of reference is needed. In a coaching relationship, the reflect stage helps people figure out where they are in their lives and ministries and identify the most significant issues to address.

Powerful Coaching Questions

  • What can we celebrate?
  • What’s really important?
  • What obstacles are you facing?
  • Where do you want to go?
  • How committed are you?

Refocus - Determine priorities and action steps

After we’ve figured out where we are, the next step in the process is to ask, “Where do we want to go from here?” This is the task of the refocus stage— gaining a sense of direction and forward movement. In order to do this, we need long-range vision to see where God wants us to go in the future and short-range vision to see the individual steps it will take to get there. Effective action planning addresses the questions of who, what, where, when, and how.

Powerful Coaching Questions

  • What do you want to accomplish?
  • What are possible ways to get there?
  • Which path will you choose?
  • What will you do? (who, what, where, when, how)
  • How will you measure your progress?

Resource - Provide support and encouragement

Once we have discovered where we are and where we want to go, the next question is, “What do we need?” Answering this question is the primary task of the resource stage. Christian leaders often spend enormous amounts of time reinventing the wheel when many quality resources already exist that can save time, money, and energy. A good coach guides people in the direction of those resources that will be most useful to them given where they are and where they want to go.

Powerful Coaching Questions

  • What resources do you already have?
  • What resources will you need to accomplish your goals? (people, finances,
  • knowledge, etc.)
  • What resources are missing?
  • Where will you find the resources you need?
  • What can I do to support you?

Review - Evaluate, celebrate, and revise plans

The review stage allows us to look back over our progress and ask, “What has been accomplished?” Never underestimate the power of taking the time to look back over past accomplishments and celebrate them. That process can provide both a sense of satisfaction over a job well done and much-needed encouragement for the road ahead. The evaluation process also maximizes learning and provides opportunities to make mid-course corrections.

Powerful Coaching Questions

  • What’s working?
  • What’s not working?
  • What are you learning?
  • What needs to change?
  • What further training would be helpful?
  • What’s next in our coaching relationship?

Download the Powerful Questions for the coaching process

Powerful Coaching Questions

Here in a single document are all the questions we have posed in the lists above.

Immediate Next Steps for Independent Study

Here are the resources that can help you take your next steps towards becoming Barnabas.

  1. Read Becoming Barnabas
  2. Read Coaching 101
  3. Work through Coaching 101 Handbook

If you are ready and moved to get beyond the basics we suggest Christian Coaching Excellence.